The Objectivity of Fascism Today
The State is an instrument of force in the hands of the ruling class. Its basic purpose is to protect and further the political and economic interests of the ruling class. This includes doing whatever is necessary at a given time to clear the way for the economy to develop along the lines necessary for the ruling class.
Fascism is the merger of the State and the corporations. While there are subjective aspects to the development of fascism – things that are consciously engineered by the ruling class– the fascism we are experiencing in the U.S. and elsewhere today is not a subjective choice of the ruling class, but is fundamentally an objective reflection of economic development. As the economic base of society is transformed, the social and political superstructure that rests on and reflects the base must also be transformed.
The capitalist relations of production are the source of surplus value. As technology is replacing labor in production value is being destroyed and markets shrink. The capitalist seek profit wherever they can find it, by whatever means is necessary. The result is that the corporations and the State merge so that the corporations can impose their direct dictatorship on society and channel the social capital as they see fit to boost profits – privatizing things that were public, using public funds to subsidize private businesses, eliminating taxes on corporations and the wealthy, cutting welfare programs, etc.
The demands of globalization also play a role in the evolution of fascism. The power of the State –whether expressed as political, economic or military pressure – is necessary to break down the remaining barriers to the integration of the global market. Any barriers to the global mobility of capital must be eliminated. These barriers include the institutions of the bourgeois democratic republic, due process of law, the welfare State, etc.
Another aspect is that global markets are contracting as technology replaces labor, and the capitalist countries are competing for markets and access to resources such as oil and gas. In some cases this competition takes a military form. In the case of the U.S. in particular, the State has been restructured to maximize its ability to use force to maintain the U.S.’ hegemonic position in the world through capturing markets and resources and isolating competitors.
Yet another facet illustrating the objective character of fascism today is the ongoing reduction in widespread property ownership in the population (homes, farms, small businesses, etc.), which is the objective basis for bourgeois democracy. The economic and political “middle” that tied the working class to the capitalist class is being destroyed. As jobs disappear, wages fall and the social safety net is shredded, the growth of a new section of propertyless workers threatens private property. The ruling class cannot allow these people to have a say in society’s direction; only a cooperative society can meet their needs. Even the limited bourgeois democracy we have had is forced to give way to the dictatorship of the corporations. We see a significant example of this in Michigan with the imposition of the “Emergency Financial Managers” on various local governments, displacing elected officials. The State is changing form to protect private property, under conditions of the destruction of the economic foundation of private property. The State will deal forcefully with any social eruptions. The political, repressive aspects of fascism arise on the basis of the objective economic situation confronting the capitalists, and facilitate what they need to accomplish economically.
It should be noted that these conditions (the elimination of human labor and the destruction of value) give rise to nationalization as an objective battlefield. Each class needs nationalization in its own interests. The bourgeoisie needs it to subsidize private profit and protect private property, and the workers need it to guarantee them the necessities of life. Each class needs the State to intervene in the economy. Thus the question of nationalization raises the issue of which class the State serves, and nationalization becomes the battlefield where class consciousness can be taught.
We should clearly understand that fascism is not a policy choice for the bourgeoisie today, as it was during the Depression of the 1930s. The Depression represented a crisis of overproduction, not a qualitative revolution in the means of production. Under those conditions, some capitalist classes chose fascism as a way to deal with the crisis, while others accomplished their goals by maintaining some form of bourgeois democracy. Today fascism – the merger of the corporations and the State – is an objective reflection of an economic revolution which is destroying the foundation of private property itself. There is no possibility of “overturning fascism” today and “restoring democracy.” No reform is possible. There is nothing to go back to. With the ongoing elimination of human labor from production, the contradictions in the economy have reached such an extreme, that the merger of the State and the corporations necessarily evolved to prevent the collapse of the capitalist economy. The old society is being destroyed by objective forces, and the only way to have democracy and access to the necessities of life is to fight forward into a cooperative society.
Political Report of the LRNA Resident Standing Committee November 2013
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011